2004 Wyoming Cowboy Football Outlook

July 26, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. -


What a difference a year makes.

Joe Glenn has gotten a lot done in the short time he's been at the University of Wyoming.

He and his staff were hired in January of 2003, and immediately went to work. Given the time restraints, they did the very best they could in the recruiting arena, then pulled off a couple of big victories during the fall over rivals Brigham Young and Colorado State. Glenn's first season produced a 4-8 record, twice as many victories as during any of Wyoming's three previous seasons.

Things were much easier during Glenn's second spring on the UW campus. The coaches knew more about the players, the players knew more about the coaches, their expectations and their schemes. There was still much to be done, but after spring training, Glenn was pleased with the progress his team had made, and characteristically exicted about the 2004 prospects.

Spring training answered any questions the staff might have had at quarterback, running back, and in the defensive front seven. Heading into fall camp, work remains to be done in developing depth in the offensive line and secondary, and in solidifying the tight end position.

"I believe the best way to prepare for the season is to make spring training a time for teaching and learning," Glenn says. "We don't do a lot of hitting during spring ball. I thought our camp went very well until Jay McNeal (6-1, 193, Sr.) was injured (knee surgery). That put a damper on things, but it didn't minimize the progress that was made by this team. Other than that injury, I thought we had the kind of spring that will prepare us well for what we are about to face. If we can make the same progress during our fall camp, as we did during the spring, we will be okay.

"We still have some question marks," Glenn says. "Certainly the injury to McNeal left us short in the secondary, and with a depth void. We also need to feel comfortable with our depth in the offensive line. In both of those areas, especially the offensive line, we're counting on individuals who were not with us during spring training." The loss of veteran starting guard Isaac Morales (academics) impacted that o-line significantly.

The help Glenn is talking about must come from a pair of veterans who missed spring training because of injury, and a junior college transfer who will arrive on campus in the fall. Junior tackle Dan Fisher (6-4, 303, Jr., recovering from knee surgery), and junior guard Drew Severn (6-3, 276, Jr., recovering from a shoulder injury), should be ready to roll for the season. Both saw plenty of playing time a year ago, and will really give the o-line a boost. Fisher will more than likely be counted upon as the starter to replace Morales.

The Cowboys are hoping that junior college transfer Alan Erving (6-5, 315) will ease that depth problem. Erving comes to Wyoming from Chaffey (Calif.) College. A fourth lineman, Mark Schwarz (6-4, 290, So.), produced an outstanding spring to elevate him into the mix. "It is critical that we improve our depth in the offensive line," Glenn says. "We feel good about our starting group. Those guys had outstanding springs. But we need to have three or four more guys step up."

Three of those starters saw plenty of time last season. Senior center Trenton Franz is an all-conference nominee. Left Tackle Chase Johnson (6-8, 307, So.), and right guard Jason Karcher (6-3, 304, So.) both learned a great deal as redshirt freshmen starters last season. Both were thrown into the fire, and fared very well. The other starter, Hunter Richards (6-7, 280, So.) walked on to the program and had quite a spring. He looked very much like Johnson, and the staff believes he will improve in the same way.

The only other area of the offense that seems to harbor questions is the tight end position. Chris Cox (6-7, 246, Sr.) had a good spring, but there are concerns about depth at that spot. This also is an area where the Cowboys are looking for help from the junior college ranks. John Wadkowski, a transfer from Ventura (Calif.) College was a jaycee All-American, and the coaching staff is anxious to take a look at him.

While concerns do exist, one of the biggest positives out of spring training was the work of starting quarterback Corey Bramlet. He had an excellent camp, and proved he will be an outstanding leader for this team. J.J. Raterink (6-1, 205, Sr.) will be a solid senior backup. Who is involved in the mix after that will be settled among three hopefuls, Zach Weidenaar (6-3, 206, RFr.), Jacob Doss (6-2, 204, RFr.) and Stinson Dean (6-2, 211, Fr.).

"It all starts with that position," Glenn says. "A guy has to look good on a horse to lead a cavalry, and Corey really looks good on that horse. We were very pleased with the way he prepared, competed and led the team. We look for him to have an outstanding season."

One thing is certain, he will have a talented stable of receivers as targets. Jovon Bouknight (6-1, 189) should be one of the top playmakers in the league. He is an outstanding athlete who can catch the deep ball, or in a crowd. Josh Barge (6-0, 203, Jr.) had an outstanding sophomore season, and is expected to be a main target. Dustin Pleasant (6-1, 175) missed last season because of injury but returned at full strength to produce an excellent spring. There is good depth as well with Michael Ford (6-2, 203, redshirt freshman), Tyler Holden (5-11, 173, redshirt sophomore), Jason Wallace (6-2, 180, junior) and Taber LeMarr (6-3, 179, redshirt freshman). "We lost a couple of outstanding receivers (Ryan McGuffey and Malcom Floyd) who will go down as two of the greats at Wyoming," Glenn says. "But as a group, we may be deeper, and more effective than we were a year ago."

The running back position was another area that put smiles on coaches' faces. A couple of returnees, and a junior college transfer have combined to make the position very sound. Sophomore Ivan Harrison (5-7, 190, So.) had a big spring and will head into the fall as the starter. Junior C.R. Davis (5-10, 193) and junior college transfer (Olathe, Kan.) Joseph Harris (5-9, 205, Jr.) also played very well. "We must run the football to be effective, and we feel these three will give us an opportunity to do that."

While the Cowboys must run the football effectively on offense, they must STOP the run on the other side of the ball. "We just couldn't allow teams to run on us like they did last season," Glenn says. "Down the stretch of our season people pushed us around. We feel we have made some adjustments, and some moves that will help prevent that from happening this year.

"We are much better on that side of the ball," he continues. "There's no doubt in my mind that we have much better team speed. I believe we are going to be able to better handle the running game than we did last year."

Redshirt junior Dusty Hoffschneider, at nose guard, had a great spring. A little guy (5-10, 250) by today's standards, Hoffschneider was outstanding at stopping the run. The move of junior Aaron Robbins (6-4, 241) from tight end to defensive end also turned out to be a big plus in that d-line. Robbins seems very suited for the defensive side of the ball. Add those two to some outstanding veterans, and the Cowboys are much more formidable. Senior tackles Zach Morris (6-2, 281) and Jacob Bonde (6-3, 299) and junior end John Flora (6-4, 273) give the Cowboys strength and experience up front.

There is more strength and experience at linebacker as well. Seniors Randy Tscharner (6-2, 238), in the middle, and Guy Tuell (6-1, 215), on the weakside, were first-year starters at their positions a season ago. Both are now much more equipped to handle those spots. Sophomore John Prater (6-2, 229) also had an outstanding spring, and will challenge Tscharner for the starting job in the middle. On the strong side, sophomore Austin Hall (6-2, 212) had an outstanding spring and earned the starting nod heading into the fall.

The secondary took a hit when McNeal was injured during the final spring scrimmage. He is not expected to return until October. Moving into his starting strong safety spot will be sophomore Marcial Rosales (6-1, 219) who saw playing time as a freshman, and supported that with an effective spring. The free safety spot is manned by sophomore John Wendling (6-1, 203) who had one of the best springs of anyone in the secondary. An outstanding athlete, Wendling has become comfortable with the system and possesses the talent and competitiveness to become a leader in the secondary. The corner position has some depth questions. Although he missed some of spring training, Derrick Martin (5-11, 182, So.) demonstrated that he is an excellent cover corner. Junior Terrance Butler (6-1, 177) is the other starting corner. Both sides are backed up by redshirt freshmen, Andre LaCaille (6-0, 168) and Christian Cameron (5-10, 173). Glenn expects that all four positions will be strengthened by an influx of new players in the fall.

The kicking game appears to be in the tradition of some of Wyoming's most outstanding special teams. Place-kicker Deric Yaussi (5-11, 181, Jr.) had an outstanding season last year, and an excellent spring. He has developed into a major weapon for the Cowboys. Punter Adam Brooks (5-11, 191, Jr.) has not kicked in a regular-season game, but demonstrated during spring training that he, too, can be quite a weapon. He has a gifted leg. The backup at both positions, Scott Parker (6-0, 188, Jr.), has made great strides, and is certainly capable of filling in at either spot.

"Deric is 20 pounds heavier, and looks very good," Glenn says. "Adam made a great deal of progress during the spring. He has a tremendous leg, and can pound the football. Parker's improvement in the spring was impressive, he is starting to come on, in both areas. We really like our kicking game."

There are many individuals on this team who have committed themselves to making this work. They have done everything we have asked of them. I'm very proud of the commitment they have made. I said this about these kids last year, but they deserve to have success. We made some progress toward that last year, we feel we can make much more this season."

Position-by-Position Evaluations:

Offense

Offensive Line:
"Without question, this is an area of concern because of depth. This group is bigger, better and more experienced. The question will be, do we have enough of them? We were thin during spring training, and became thinner when (Isaac) Morales was declared ineligible. That created a big hole, obviously, since he was a starter who had been through a lot of wars. While it was tough to swollow, we had to move forward. It would have been nice to have a veteran there, but can't dwell on a senior who becomes academically ineligible. Despite that, there are some great positives with this unit."
Center:
"The strength of our offensive line begins right in the middle with Trenton Franz (6-3, 290, Sr.). He is a senior who is extremely intelligent. He is an outstanding leader of our front, and of our football team. He knows his stuff, and he does a great job for us. Wyoming has counted on him for three seasons, and he's always been there.

Senior Trenton Franz


We expect him to have a great senior year. Drew Severn (6-3, 280, Jr.), a very versatile player for us, will back him up as well as work at a guard spot. He is an oustanding member of the Cowboy wrestling team too, so he'll fight you. He is a first-rate competitor, and he will have plenty of opportunity. He didn't see much time during spring ball because of a bad shoulder, but he returned to health during the summer."
Guard:
"With Morales gone, we are going to count on Dan Fisher (6-4, 303, Jr.) at left guard. Dan started for us early last season, then suffered a knee injury. He, too, is back to health, and ready to go. He is a proven player, but was not able to work with us until the very end of spring training. Obviously he is a now a big part of our plan. His backup will be Mark Schwarz (6-4, 290, So.) who had a very good spring. The work he did in the spring gave us a lot of confidence that he can step in there, and play. At right guard we are very happy with Jason Karcher (6-3, 304, So.) who is a proven guy. He was thrown into the fire last year, and really performed well for us. While he has worked at tackle, his true position is guard. He worked at tackle last year because we needed him. But he was just surviving out there, battling tooth and nail because that's his nature. He is now where he can be most effective for this team, and we are happy to have him there. When you think what he had to go through as a redshirt freshman, it wasn't easy. But he's the better for it. Developing depth at guard will be a challenge for us."
Tackle:
"The tackle spot will be an interesting one. Potentially we have a great player on the left side in Chase Johnson (6-8, 310, So.) Like Karcher, Chase was thrown into the heat of battle last year as a redshirt freshman. He was a 270 pounder. But he hung in there, battled, and continued to improve. He made even more progress during the offseason. He now weighs over 300 pounds, He has worked very hard, and has a chance to become a great player. I think he may have an opportunity to play in the NFL. He's much stronger, much more physical. He's not going to be sitting in the quarterback's lap any more like he did during his freshman year. His backup is David Shipula (6-5, 295, RFr.) who is a young guy with potential. On the other side (right tackle) we believe we are going to be okay. But there is an experience factor involved. Hunter Richards (6-7, 280, RFr.) is an interesting study. He walked on to this program, and has really made an impact. He reminds us so much of Chase a year ago. He is not strong enough yet, and he needs to add weight. But he is a good athlete with outstanding feet and a great frame. He's going to get a chance to play, and we think he can be solid for us. The unknown at tackle is junior college transfer Alan Erving (6-4, 315, Jr.). He was an outstanding jaycee player, and we believe he can help this program win. But we're going to have to wait and see. If he comes on, it would really help us."
Tight End:
"There is work to be done at this position as we enter the fall because we are anticipating help that hasn't been on campus yet. John Wadkowski (6-4, 250, Jr.) was an outstanding junior college tight end, and we are counting on him to give the position a big boost. We expect that he will be an impact player for us. However, we haven't seen him in our colors yet. If he can perform as we expect, then we will probably make the position a bigger part of our offense. Chris Cox (6-7, 246, Sr.) finished spring as our number one guy. He had a good spring because he works so hard. He is an outstanding blocker, but needs to continue to improve his pass-catching skills. After Chris, we are very young, and inexperienced. Wade Betschart (6-3, 243, Fr.) and Jay Yust (6-3, 226, So.) will be the backups. But, if everything works as we hope, Wadkowski and Cox will be our top guys. If they come through, we will utilize the heck out of our two-tight-end sets. If things don't work out as we have planned, then we go back to our three wides, one tight, or four wides. This is one of those areas that we won't know about for sure until we break fall camp."
Running Back:
"We're very, very happy with the way the running back situation fell into place. We had a good spring in this area. The key to our excitement is Ivan Harrison (5-7, 190, So.). He had a great offseason and spring training. He is certainly on track. He put on weight, he improved his attitude, and really did a much better job in the classroom. I think he has really bought in to what we are trying to accomplish here. He is a very gifted guy when he has the football. His desire, and and goals are very impressive. I'm really happy with where he is going. What he does on a football field can't be taught. I really felt lke C.R. (Davis, 5-10, 193, Jr.) had a good spring behind Ivan. He has made himself a better player. He is stronger, and a little quicker. Like Ivan, he has a great desire to succeed. Our newest back, Joe Harris (5-7, 205, Jr.), had a productive spring. He learned a great deal. There's always a pretty good learning curve for the junior college players, not just in the 'x's and o's, but in the expectations on and off the field. I think Joseph has turned the corner. He's a great guy, and I think he now understands what is expected of him. He should become more comfortable during our pre-season practices, and we expect him to be quite a contributor. He's a bruiser, he can block and he can run. I really feel good about those three guys. We have a nice mixture of backs who can give us different things. We also will be taking a look at a couple of freshmen in the fall."
Wide Receiver:
"We are pleased with our receiver corps, no question. Our starters are good, and they are very solid. As far as playmakers and attitude, and doing it right, there are a bunch of gamers in this group. I really like their attitude. The one thing we miss is that tall kid (last year's senior, 6-6 Malcom Floyd), running down the field. I think Jovon Bouknight (6-1, 189, Jr.) will be as fine a receiver as any in the Mountain West. He is an impact guy, and a game-breaker. Dustin Pleasant (6-1, 175, RSo.) had an outstanding spring, and will be our other outside guy. He got back into the groove during spring training after sitting out with the leg problems (hamstrings). His strength is back in his leg, and his speed is coming back. He wants to compete badly. He and Jovon will be our outside guys. Their backups will probably be Jason Wallace (6-2, 180, Jr.), a junior college transfer with a lot of ability, and Jason Amos (6-2, 199, Jr.), who has a good deal of talent. He has been in the program, and we really like him. Josh Barge (6-0, 203, Jr.) is our guy on the inside. He is the ultimate gamer. He is really a tough, possession receiver who will surprise you with his speed. Ty Holder (5-11, 173, RSo), a transfer, and Michael Ford (6-2, 203, RFr) also will be on the inside for us. I think Holden is going to be a big help to us. He's quick and athletic, and he can catch the ball. Ford has the makings of an outstanding receiver. We really like his size. We also like another young guy by the name of Taber LeMarr (6-3, 179, RFr.) who could surprise some people. He is a little battler. He'll be on the outside. This is a tough bunch, and they do what you want them to do. We think we have at least six guys who can win for us. We are excited about them. They might not be the tallest group--they're all about medium height--but they can get some stuff done, and I have a feeling they are going to make some plays."
Quarterbacks:
"We're very excited about this position. Obviously, when you lose a player of Casey Bramlet's caliber, there is cause for concern. But his brother, Corey (Bramlet, 6-4, 215, Jr.), really accepted the challenge. I can tell you he's ready to go. We're thrilled with his progress. He has prepared himself very well for this opportunity. I don't think a guy can be much more ready for the challenge. He took some great steps mentally.

Junior Corey Bramlet


He is athletic, he is a top-notch competitor, and an outstanding leader. It comes down to how he can perform without a lot of game reps. It certainly will help him to have those preseason games before conference rolls around. But we have a tremendous amount of confidence that he will handle the job with a great deal of success. I thought J.J. (Raterink, 6-1, 205, Sr.) did a good job during spring training. He also progressed mentally in understanding what we want done. He's one of those outstanding individuals who is solid on and off the field. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. We are definitely going to need him. He really earned his position as the number two guy during the spring. He is very intelligent, and really knows where to go with the football. Behind those two are two young guys, one of whom will probably redshirt. Jacob Doss (6-2, 204, RFr.) needs to make some progress with the mental aspect of the game. We look for Stinson Dean (6-2, 211, Fr.) to probably redshirt. He certainly got a jump on things by foregoing the last half of his senior year in high school, and coming here early. He understands the offense, and knows what he's doing. He'll be a good one. We have a group of competitors who are sharp and willing to learn. We really put in a lot of our offense during the spring, and our guys, especially the two older guys, handled it very well.

Defense

Defensive Line:
"Certainly our main focus defensively has been to slow down the run game. We had a very difficult time doing that last season. We worked hard at it, made some position moves, and feel heading into the fall that we are a better team at stopping the run. Much of that positive feeling is due to the defensive line."
Tackle:
"One of the biggest reasons for that improvement is Zach Morris (6-2, 281, Sr.) at tackle. Through his career he has played all of the down line positions, but tackle appears to be his home. He is bigger and stronger, and has a great deal of confidence. Overall, he is the best lineman we have. He has savvy, quickness and strength. We really like his leadership qualities. He's just one of those individuals you have to have if you are going to be successful. It is an honor for him to be listed on the Outland Trophy Watch. His backup, Jacob Bonde (6-3, 300, Sr.), is a quality guy as well. His experience is invaluable to us. He has seen a lot of football through his career as a Cowboy. Between the two of them we feel we are very solid at that spot."
Noseguard:
"Our run-stopping capabilities improved tremendously when we moved Dusty Hoffschneider (5-10, 250, RJr.) into the noseguard spot. Dusty is a transfer from Northern Colorado who had to sit out last season. He is as tough an individual as I've seen play the game. He is Cowboy tough. He is an outstanding Cowboy wrestler, and he brings that mentality to the field. He is quick, and very difficult to gain an advantage on. Jake Mayes (6-3, 272, So.) made great strides as his backup during spring training. He was a linebacker in high school, so he is working at a relatively new position. But he continued to improve during spring ball, and we expect him to be a very solid player for us this season. Chad Gardner (6-3, 270, Jr.) gives us a third guy at nose. He is one of those tough Wyoming guys--from Shoshoni--who loves to play the game, which makes us better."
Buck:
"Another guy who has made a big difference for us in the defensive line was an offensive player last year, Aaron Robbins (6-4, 241, Jr.). He gives us a great deal at the buck (defensive end) position. He was a tight end for the Cowboys last season, so he brings athleticism to the position. As expected, it took some time for him to adjust to his new surroundings, but he got more comfortable at it as spring training went along. He makes us much more athletic at end. He is really good on his feet, so he can do the things we ask of that position. We really think he will make a big difference for us. Adam Diehl (6-3, 218, So.) is another one of our young defensive linemen who got his feet wet a little bit last year as a true freshman. He made some good strides during the spring, and we have a lot of confidence in him that he can come in and spell Robbins. We like his athleticism as well."
Defensive End:
"John Flora (6-4, 273, Jr.) will make an impact for us at defensive end. He worked extremely hard in the weight room to make himself bigger and stronger, and he showed during the spring that he is a different player. He is our best pass-rusher.

Junior John Flora


Like Morris, he has been moved around some, but defensive end is the position for him. It's always great to see an individual make the commitment, and that's what John did. Behind him is another young guy with outstanding athleticism, Mike Groover (6-3, 234, So.). He saw some action last year as a freshman, and he has gotten bigger and stronger. There is a learning curve for him, especially in becoming a good pass rusher. But he has the attitude to be a heck of a player. Tyler Otten (6-4, 228, RFr.) has a ways to go, but certainly has a lot of time left in this program to do it. The unknown is Anthony Jones (6-5, 262, Sr.), a veteran who missed the entire spring due to injury. We're not sure what his status will be, but if he is healthy he will be a factor for us."
Linebackers:
"We believe we have a very good situation at linebacker. We have veteran athletes who can run, tackle and make big plays. They can get the job done. We are much more athletic than we were a year ago. We run better, and we are better tacklers. We are excited about the improvement in this area. I think any good defense is built around its linebacking corps, and our three starters will definitely be playmakers for us. We actually have guys in the mix for those three starting positions, and we feel confident about all of them. Middle Linebacker: "There has been an outstanding battle in the middle between Randy Tscharner (6-3, 238, Sr.) and John Prater (6-2, 229, So.) Tscharner came in last year as a junior college transfer, and performed well for Wyoming. He worked hard to fit right into what we were doing. He made a lot of tackles for us, and with that year behind him, and much more confidence, we anticipate he will make even more plays during his senior year. Prater had a great spring. He has a lot of ability, but has that one characteristic that everyone looks for. . . he can run. Matt Chase (6-1, 222, Jr.) is behind those two, and he had a heck of a spring. He made a lot of plays for us."
Weakside:
"On our weakside should be one of the better outside backers in the Mountain West. Guy Tuell (6-1, 215, Sr.) has a tremendous amount of experience. He can run, and he is an outstanding tackler. Guy began his career here as a safety. But he was moved to linebacker, and really found a home. We love his leadership, and the fact that he now is totally comfortable in the position.

Senior Guy Tuell


He's gotten bigger and stronger, and we love his ability to recognize what's going on out there. I would say there won't be too many in our league any better than he is on that weak side. Jeff Tatnall (5-11, 225, Jr.) made great progress during the spring, and will be a very solid backup at that position. We have two solid football players here, who will be a key part of our defense."
Strongside:
"On the strongside, Austin Hall (6-2, 215, So.) has made great strides. Physically he has come into his own, and is ready to be a major contributor. Austin has the tools to be an outstanding football player. He is committed to the game, and that committment has made him a better player. That will make us better. He brings a great deal to the field. His backup, Brandon Haugen (6-1, 228, RFr.), began to sort things out during spring training. When he gets that done, he's going to be a very good football player. Like anyone, he has to get his feet wet in game situations. We really like what he is capable of doing. Our linebackers are faster, stronger and more experienced than they were a year ago. We're excited about what these guys can do, and how much better they will make our defense."
Secondary:
"We were about as pleased with the secondary as with any area of our team during spring ball, until we suffered the big blow near the end of our final practice when Jay McNeal (6-1, 193, Sr.) injured his knee, and had to have surgery. He has developed into such a veteran leader. Unfortunately we are not sure when he will be able to return. Beyond that, everyone did a great job of getting better. We were thin going into spring training, and the injury to Jay made us thinner. Our front-line guys are good players, but we must develop additional depth during our fall camp for us to be solid back there. It appears that we will be counting on some guys, who haven't worn our uniform yet, to come in and provide that help."
Free Safety:
"John Wendling (6-1, 203, So.) had a magnificent spring, and really came into his own. We are expecting big things out of him. So much of his situation was mental. Last season he was coming off a redshirt year, and dealing with a new coaching staff. I think he was a little overwhelmed. He began coming into his own at the end of last season, and then we really saw a light come on during spring training. He now understands what the expectations are. He feels good that he is in the right position, and he knows what he is doing. Now he can just play, and he is a very good when he can concentrate on that. His backup is Dorsey Golston (6-0, 191, So.) who had a great spring. If things work out for him, he can help us tremendously as a swingman between safety and corner. He did some good things at both positions. He's just a natural athlete. He has a tremendous football sense, and great awareness. Because of that, we can move him back and forth between the two positions. He's a very mature player. We would rather have him at safety, but it's nice knowing he can play corner as well. We may need him there. Alex Renshaw (5-10, 202, RSo.) also is in the mix at free. He was moved from running back, and is in the learning curve right now. He should develop even more during fall camp. Physically, he is very capable."
Strong Safety:
"Marcial Rosales (6-1, 219, So.) has really developed at strong safety. He is probably one of our top hitters. He's a very sure tackler. There just won't be many broken tackles when he's involved. The progress he made from his redshirt year to now has been unbelievable. He has an understanding, and more confidence in his ability, and in what we are asking him to do. With McNeal and him, it is easy to see why we were feeling so good about this position. But McNeal's injury really hurt our power and depth at this spot. Right now, heading into fall camp Cameron Clark (5-10, 199, RFr.) will be the backup here. Obviously he has much to learn. The preseason will be very important to him. We have some new individuals coming in for fall camp who may impact this area in a big way. Junior college transfer Ron Rockett (6-1, 190, Jr.) and freshmen Michael Ray (6-1, 200, Fr.), and Quincy Rogers (6-2, 195, Fr.) will receive strong looks right away."
Cornerbacks:
"We have a lot of youth in the secondary, that's always a concern, but especially at corner. We do have some very good athletes back there. Derrick Martin (5-11, 182, So.) is our top athlete in the secondary, and he had an outstanding spring. He is our best 'lock-down' guy, and is as good a competitor as we have. He wants to be challenged. While Derrick is young, we have some even younger guys backing him up. Andre LaCaille (6-0, 168, RFr.) went through spring ball, and did some good things for us. He has so much to learn as will another young guy we're counting on, Michael Medina (6-0, 180, Fr.) who will be new to campus in the fall. We are excited to get him into the program, and see how much he can help us in his first year. At the other corner, Terrance Butler (6-1, 177, Jr.) had a good spring. He is a transfer who had to figure things out, but he certainly did that as practice went along. His backup during the spring was a redshirt freshman, Christian Cameron (5-10, 173, RFr.), who needs to mature in the program. We will take a good look at a junior college transfer coming in for fall camp. Brandon Bell (6-1, 195, Jr.) could give us a big boost at corner. He was an outstanding jaycee player, and we are excited to see what he can bring to the Cowboys. We also are anxious to see Julius Stinson (5-10, 180, Fr.), a freshman who is a great athlete. Some of the help we are looking for, we haven't seen yet, and that can keep you up at night. We know they are good football players, and we are so anxious to see how they look and perform in Cowboy uniforms."

Special Teams:

"There has been great tradition built by a lot of outstanding kickers through the history of Cowboy football, and I think we are going to be able to add to that tradition with the kicking game we have. I think we have weapons in this area who can bring a significant impact to this team. There are individuals in the return game who can change a game as well. I guess what I'm saying is, we have a chance to become very effective in the special teams area."
Place-kickers:
"There is no doubt in my mind that Deric Yaussi (5-11, 181, Jr.) can be as effective as any kicker in the Mountain West. He came on so strong for us a year ago, and he didn't do anything in the spring that would cause us concern.

Junior Deric Yaussi


He is accurate, and he is stronger than he was a year ago. He has become a serious weapon for this football team. We have a luxury that not a lot of programs have. . .we have a backup kicker who also can be an outstanding contributor. We wouldn't be hesitant to bring Scott Parker (6-0, 188, Jr.) into the game in a critical situation. He has really improved in both the physical and mental aspects of kicking the football. Chris Hearne (5-7, 180, RSo.) is a third guy who might be a heck of a hand one of these days. These guys also do an outstanding job on kickoffs."
Punting:
"Even though our outstanding punter from a year ago, Luke Donovan, graduated, we feel extremely good about this position. Adam Brooks (5-11, 191, Jr.) has as strong a leg as anyone I've ever seen. I realize there is a difference from booming them in spring practice to doing it in a stadium full of people with different jerseys coming at you, but I have every confidence that this young man is going to be quite a weapon. He has a gift in that leg of his, and we are anxious to let it work. Parker is a very able backup." Holders: "We have the best in J.J. Raterink (6-1, 205, Sr.). His presence alone gives our kickers and long snappers tremendous confidence. His experience and his leadership are unequalled. We feel very fortunate to have him as our backup quarterback, but he is so important in this area. Tyler Holden (5-11, 173, RSo.), our jaycee receiver, will be the backup to J.J. He has a great pair of hands, and will be a solid second guy."
Long Snapper:
"Like J.J., we have a tremendous amount of confidence in our veteran snapper David Gough (6-6, 275, Sr.). David has been around a long time, and he has become automatic at both punt and place-kicking snaps. He gives us a great comfort zone in this area. If something was to happen to him, we have three guys who could come on and fill the void. . .Jake Mayes (6-3, 272, So), Mark Schwarz (6-4, 290, So.) and Randy Tscharner (6-3, 238, Sr.)."
Return Specialists:
"Jovon Bouknight and Ivan Harrison have the abilities to be very dangerous back there. Both have good speed, and run well in open territory. Josh Barge can be a very special punt returner. Derrick Martin will be in the mix at both spots."